Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Summer - Week #4 - Part 2

A few of our adventures while we were home in Massachusetts...

Since we didn't have enough family time earlier in the day for Grant's baptism, we decided to get together that night for a mini-golf challenge.  Nick thought he won... until I re-did the math and declared Andrew the champion for the night.  Sorry, buddy.

Mini golfing with our favorite girl

My nephew has turned into a giant over the past few years!

We got home just in time for catch the season premiere of "Game of Thrones."  

Georgia's summer bucket list had a BIG item that we needed to check off while we were in MA... whale watching!  On Monday morning, we headed out to Gloucester and prepared to board the Privateer IV with the 7 Sevens Whale Watch crew.

We arrived in Gloucester with some time to spare, which meant there was only one thing to do...

We hadn't even boarded the boat, but we had lobster, bright sunshine and corn hole.  What a great day!

As our boat pulled into the dock, the morning cruisers yelled to us that they spotted a lot of whales out there.  Good sign!

Ready for departure!
Fingers crossed for whales!
As the boat left the dock, we immediately spotted a seal and Georgia's day was already made.

The crew let us know that they had a fairly good idea where the humpback whales were hanging out.  However, it was just off the coast of Provincetown on Cape Cod, so we settled in for a 2 hour boat ride out to sea for the next 30 miles.  

Georgia did amazing.  Nick was a nervous wreck that we weren't going to see any whales, but was trying to play it cool.

Then, after what seemed like FOREVER, we spotted a ton of boats in the distance (and Cape Cod came into view).  BOOM - whales!!!!  We were lucky enough to spot several Mama/calf pairings, as well as a few other whales that were hanging out and feeding in the area.  

We got to spend the next hour just hanging around with some amazing humpback whales.

A few of my favorite pictures...

Mama and her calf

We were close enough that we routinely were able to feel the whale's exhalations (yes, whale spit!).  And Nick finally breathed a sigh of relief that we got to see whales... lots of them!

Getting to hang out with a baby whale is pretty cool!

We had a long ride back to Gloucester, so we had to say goodbye to the whales, but we got a HUGE check on the summer bucket list!

On the way back to Mimi's house, we made sure to stop and eat as much seafood as humanly possible!  3 cheers for not being allergic to shellfish.

Grant was obviously DEVASTATED at not being allowed on the whale watch ... #donttellGrant

1 - He got to walk up to Shaw Farm AGAIN to see the animals

2 - He got to order his very own ice cream at Shaw Farm

On Tuesday, Nick was scheduled to fly out of Boston's Logan airport to head home and get back to work.  Before dropping him off, we hit up the New England Aquarium for a quick visit.

Petting some rays

I seriously debated it.. Can you imagine if I wore my shark hat on bus duty?!?!
Can we talk about the irony here...  I grew up watching "Jaws" and being terrified of the ocean.  Everyone and their brother would say to me "There's no sharks here!"  Ummmm... yes, there are!!!  Granted, the great whites didn't really show back up until a few years ago, but I stand my ground that I was right all along.

After the aquarium, we headed out to explore Boston for a few hours before Nick's flight.  It's amazing the number of changes since I lived downtown in the early 2000's.  The Greenway is so impressive considering that it used to be a highway cutting through downtown.

Riding the carousel

There are times when Georgia absolutely blows my mind.  She can be such a scaredy cat with little things.  Other times, she climbs a giant ladder and goes ziplining through a city...

The kid is crazy brave... sometimes!

We wrapped up our day in Boston with dinner at Union Oyster House.  Our rehearsal dinner was held there 8 years ago and we hadn't been back since then.  I was thrilled when I called and the manager informed me that the executive chef had a nut allergy and they were fairly certain that Georgia would be safe eating there.

Apparently I should have just asked about their cornbread appetizer because Georgia would have been thrilled to just eat an entire tray of that!

Best chowdah!
For dessert, we scored Georgia a chocolate doughnut from Jennifer Lee's bakery just around the corner.  

Again, don't think that Grant was sad to be left behind. #donttellGrant

1 - He got to mow the lawn with Papa

2 - He went to the playground

Georgia and I dropped Nick off at the airport and headed to NH to meet up with the rest of the family.  I then learned that Melissa finally got revenge on me... she gave Grant a drum (granted, I may have given her kid a drum or two back in the day).

We had one full day left in New England before we drove back to Maryland on Thursday.  We decided to spend the day at Canobie Lake Park (and we even let Grant come!).  I spent my childhood at the park and it was super cool to bring my own kid to same place that I loved so much at her age.

We convinced Matthew to join us!
So cool when your big cousin is old enough/tall enough to be the "adult" on the ride
I spotted lots of familiar favorite rides (and made Georgia ride them with me!).

There was lots new to see too, including a whole waterpark area!

Too much excitement for Grant to handle!
I was blown away by the food allergy program at Canobie.  They had an entire section of their website devoted to every single item sold at the park and they list the allergens present in each item.  I wish the Smithsonian was that organized!

Loving all the lights/sounds/games

And that wrapped up our quick trip to Massachusetts.  Mimi, myself and the kids headed back to Maryland on Thursday morning so that we could get back for the next big event of the summer... Grant turns 1!